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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the use of force from a feminist perspective and its prohibition in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter. Using structural bias feminism, it demonstrates how the gendering of international legal categories contributes to the harm and discrimination experienced by women worldwide. The chapter cites UN Security Council action in Libya in 2011 as an example of the normative and organizational exclusion of women and the justification of the use of force. It discusses the relationship between race and gender privilege in international law and argues that the Council’s resolutions on women, peace, and security, support, and legitimate use of force undermine feminist peace activism. It proposes a transformative approach to the foundations of international law that articulates the prohibition on the use of force as a useful first step for imagining the potential of humanity rather than justifying further force, further violence, or further destruction.

Keywords: use of force, UN Charter, structural bias feminism, women, UN Security Council, Libya, race, gender, international law, peace activism

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